STATE government initiatives to reduce homelessness in the Greater Hobart region have today been supported by the Greater Hobart Homelessness Alliance (GHHA).
The group, convened by Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds, comprises representatives from local government and the homeless services sector.
At its meeting today, the Alliance endorsed recent announcements by the Tasmanian Government in relation to housing action, including a commitment to invest $5 million in new housing units and associated services and the purchase of the Waratah Hotel to be developed into supported accommodation.
“These announcement are very much a step in the right direction,” Cr Reynolds said on behalf of the GHHA.
“We are also pleased that an expo will be held in October to provide information to Tasmanians at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing housing stress about the services that are available to them.
“As National Homelessness Week draws to a close, we need to recognise the progress that is being made on this important topic and ensure that the momentum continues into actions.
“We will also continue to seek a Federal Housing commitment to the removal of the State Government housing debt. This funding relief, to the tune of $15 million a year, could support important homelessness projects, such as the provision of a night shelter facility.”
Cr Reynolds said the City of Hobart would continue to support action on homelessness.
“While local government is limited what is can do directly, it has an important role to play in lobbying for outcomes and for connecting stakeholders,” she said.
“We are looking at a collaborative approach similar to the Zero Adelaide model, which will be discussed at a special forum at the Hobart Town Hall next week.
“In the meantime, the City of Hobart has introduced the Public Spaces By-Law, which protects people who are sleeping rough on our streets from being moved on.
“Of course, our goal is to no longer require such a by-law.”